Wollongong to unveil $60,000 public art piece

Boat Of Spirits and Dwellings will be installed in George Dodd Reserve as part of Wollongong City Council's public art program.

Boat Of Spirits and Dwellings will be installed in George Dodd Reserve as part of Wollongong City Council's public art program.

It is not quite the giant milk crate or the "space noodle" planned for Sydney, but Wollongong is set to get its own new piece of public art.

The "Migration Public Art Project", an initiative of Wollongong City Council and Italian cultural group Calabria Centro Culturale, will install two works in George Dodd Reserve near Belmore Basin to recognise the city's history of migration.

Standing five metres high and four metres long, a steel structure titled Boat Of Spirits will be stationed in the grass while three works on timber posts - titled Dwellings - will line a nearby pathway.

Dwellings, a new artwork for Belmore Basin.

Dwellings, a new artwork for Belmore Basin.

"It is acknowledging work migrants have done in Wollongong, who have contributed so much to how our city has grown," Calabria Centro Culturale secretary Mary Zanotto said.

Ms Zanotto said the work, with a budget of $60,000, had been in the works since 2007.

The plan is in the development application stage before council, with a time frame still unclear, but council cultural development manager Sue Savage said more art was on the way.

"We are reviewing our public art policy to plan what we might undertake in the next 12 months," Ms Savage said.

"The migration work is one of the major ones, and we are looking at something for the bicentenary of Wollongong."

Ms Savage said this year's council budget for public art stood at $250,000, with $200,000 allocated each year for the following two years.

Recent examples of council-supported public art include the mural on the Illawarra Performing Arts Centre's rear wall, painted panels in the Arts Precinct and CBD laneways, murals on Crown Street Mall construction hoardings, and paintings on traffic light signal boxes.

"A lot of it is about graffiti prevention, safety and [providing] amenity to spaces," Ms Savage said.

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